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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Joins Nationwide Effort To Honor American Service Men and Women

Wed, 2011-11-09 16:15 -- Anonymous

November 9, 2011

Rensselaer To Host Remembrance Day National Roll Call on Nov. 11

Following the 10th anniversary of the September 11 tragedy, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has joined a nationwide grassroots effort to honor American service men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan during the past decade. Rensselaer is one of more than 180 colleges and universities across the nation that will participate in the inaugural Remembrance Day National Roll Call event on Friday, Nov. 11. The program will be held in the Rensselaer Union North Lobby, beginning at 10 a.m. with brief opening remarks.

Following the opening ceremony, across the nation campus and community volunteers will read the names of the 6,200-plus casualties of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF), now called Operation New Dawn. The independent website iCasualties.org has been involved in recording the names of the service men and women that have died in the last 10 years. Each participating campus will organize its own reading of names, and will observe at 11 a.m. PST (2:00 p.m. EST) a simultaneous nationwide minute of silence, according to event organizers. The reading of the names will take nearly eight hours to complete as readers announce the names in chronological order. 

The Remembrance Day National Roll Call is sponsored nationally by the Veterans Knowledge Community of Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA). NASPA is a 12,000-member association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs professionals. The Veterans Knowledge Community (VKC) mission is to advocate for best practices to help student veterans transition to college and succeed. As the National Roll Call sponsor, the goal of VKC is to have at least one institution in each of the 50 states participate in the event. Some participating colleges and universities include: the University of Southern California, University of Alaska, William Paterson University, Tulane, Louisiana State University, and Texas A&M University.

“We wanted to rally campus communities across the nation to send a powerful message to the troops currently serving that their peers have not forgotten their sacrifices, or those of the fallen,” said Lt. Col. (Ret) Brett Morris, National Roll Call coordinator and the associate director for veterans affairs at Eastern Kentucky University. “The reading of individual names is very poignant because it emphasizes the significance of each and every life lost,” Morris added. “Like the names inscribed at the new 9-11 Memorial in New York, each of the fallen deserve to be remembered for their sacrifice. There is no effort to raise money or promote individual programs. The event is simply to honor those who have sacrificed so much on our behalf.”

For information regarding the Rensselaer Remembrance Day National Roll Call or to volunteer as a reader, contact the Rensselaer Union Administration Office at (518) 276-6505. To see a list of participating schools, visit: va.eku.edu/rollcall

Contact: Jessica Otitigbe
Phone: (518) 276-6050
E-mail: otitij@rpi.edu